News items for tag hardware - Koos van den Hout

2023-06-02 Playing with a Proxmark3
It's been a while since I played with rfid technology but recently some news around LF cards has made me interested again. The proxmark3 is the best device for going deep with rfid technology so I considered buying one.

Reading various sources about the availability of proxmark3 hardware taught me the latest and greatest version (currently Proxmark3 RDV4) has not a lot of advantages over the previous version (RDV3) which is available at seriously lower prices from several webshops. So I ordered one using aliexpress and the wait started.

Today the proxmark3 came in. I built the software for Linux using the guide at proxmark3 Linux Installation Instructions where I noticed I had to add packages libbz2-dev and gcc-arm-none-eabi by hand to get things to compile/build correctly.

After doing the firmware upgrade dance I started testing and looking around. The proxmark3 detects 125 kHz (LF) and 13.56 MHz (HF) cards fine. With the order came a blank card which is both a 13.56 MHz Mifare 1K with changeable UID and a 125 kHz T5577. There were also two small keyring tags, a mifare 1K and a mifare 4K.

First attempts

The proxmark3 shows information for all the cards I tried. To my surprise the skipass from our last ski trip to Austria was an HF only card, I thought ski passes used 125 kHz technology so they could be read through jackets or other layers more easily. It's an ISO 15693 tag and I can access all data easily.
[usb] pm3 --> hf search 
 🕗  Searching for ISO15693 tag...            
[+]  UID: E0 16 24 66 09 99 B3 70
[+] TYPE: EM-Marin SA (Skidata); EM4233 [IC id = 09] 23,5pF CustomerID-102

[+] Valid ISO 15693 tag found
[usb] pm3 --> hf 15 info

[+]  UID: E0 16 24 66 09 99 B3 70
[+] TYPE: EM-Marin SA (Skidata); EM4233 [IC id = 09] 23,5pF CustomerID-102
[+] Using UID... E0 16 24 66 09 99 B3 70

[=] --- Tag Information ---------------------------
[=] -------------------------------------------------------------
[+]       TYPE: EM-Marin SA (Skidata); EM4233 [IC id = 09] 23,5pF CustomerID-102
[+]        UID: E0 16 24 66 09 99 B3 70
[+]    SYSINFO: 00 0F 70 B3 99 09 66 24 16 E0 02 00 33 03 02 
[+]      - DSFID supported        [0x02]
[+]      - AFI   supported        [0x00]
[+]      - IC reference supported [0x02]
[+]      - Tag provides info on memory layout (vendor dependent)
[+]            4 (or 3) bytes/blocks x 52 blocks
As all the tag readers in that ski area are on-line anyway, I guess the card is just a big serial number and all the checking whether the user isn't trying to do something that wasn't paid for is done in central computers.

First error

While trying to clone an LF card into the T5577 I managed to make the T5577 card end up in a weird state: it now only returns 0x0000 or 0xFFFF patterns on read depending on the communication configuration.

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2023-03-31 Trying to get into a Genexis Platinum-4410 router
I have been given a Genexis Platinum-4410 router with the reasoning that I like to play with embedded systems and test the security. Well, that is what I did.

How far did I get

I have serial console, I have extracted filesystem images, and I can't get a shell on the router.

The device

It's a router with 4+1 ethernet ports, wifi, two ports for analog telephones and a USB interface.

Looking at it from the network

In this specific instance the 4 ethernet ports which are logically the 'inside' don't give me a link after the router has booted up. The 1 port which would be the 'outside' or 'WAN' port gives a link and acts as a DHCP client.

The next step was to connect to the wifi network and play with the web interface. This like a custom web interface. Default credentials which match what is on the sticker on the underside of the router.

The router doesn't have a telnet server listening for 'easy' access.

Opening the case

Next step was to open the case and investigate the mainboard. Chips seen on the mainboard: Mindspeed J83100G System on a Chip (SoC), MXIC MX29GL256FHT2I-90Q flash memory, 2* Etrontech EM68B16CWQD-25H 512 mbit DRAM, Si32260-FM1 dual channel FXS (voip) chip and other electronics.

The mainboard has lots of test points, but no clear UART interface. There is an edge connector which looks like a PCI Express connector but it isn't. I asked help about this: What is this connector, does it include UART on a Genexis Platinum-4410 ? : hardwarehacking because r/hardwarehacking on reddit has helped me before.

This edge connector turned out the 'place to be' and with the standard tricks for finding the UART I soon had an idea. But nothing to stick a dupont wire on and no PCI express or cardedge breakout cable/board available. So I had to solder wires to the right lanes on the connector. I had permission to damage the router, so that was ok. Soldering within half a millimeter was really hard! This was the first time I actually used my soldering iron for hardware hacking. And a magnifying glass to actually see what I was soldering.
Read the rest of Trying to get into a Genexis Platinum-4410 router

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2023-01-29 Grabbing the root filesystem image from the Cab.Link CLS-D4E2WX1
I wanted to grab the root filesystem image from the flash memory of the Cab.Link CLS-D4E2WX1 cable modem/router. The way to do this was the same as with Grabbing the firmware from the Corinex CXWC-HD200-WNeH and extracting the root filesystem although I decided to just dump the root filesystem image and not the entire flash memory.

So the box was opened again, the usb serial interface connected to the uart pins on Cab.Link CLS-D4E2WX1 I found earlier and the boot stopped in the U-Boot process.

First step was to determine where in the memory map the root filesystem image would be. This took a bit of calculation. From the bootup messages there are two important hints:
7 cmdlinepart partitions found on MTD device ar7240-nor0
Creating 7 MTD partitions on "ar7240-nor0":
0x000000000000-0x000000040000 : "u-boot"
0x000000040000-0x000000050000 : "u-boot-env"
0x000000050000-0x000000670000 : "rootfs"
0x000000670000-0x0000007d0000 : "uImage"
0x0000007d0000-0x0000007e0000 : "SYSLOG"
0x0000007e0000-0x0000007f0000 : "NVRAM"
0x0000007f0000-0x000000800000 : "ART"

## Booting image at 9f670000 ...
So the kernel image is booted from address 0x9f670000 and it's in the MTD partition at 0x000000670000. This makes the guess that the rootfs image from 0x000000050000 will live at memory location 0x9f050000 and has a size of 0x620000 so the approach is to dump 0x620000 bytes starting at that memory location. The command to do that in U-Boot:
ar7240> md.b 0x9f050000 0x620000
9f050000: 68 73 71 73 04 03 00 00 07 25 98 52 00 00 02 00    hsqs.....%.R....
9f050010: 27 00 00 00 02 00 11 00 c0 00 01 00 04 00 00 00    '...............

This capture of data at 115200 bps took more than 20 minutes. But I have patience enough.... Ok, I went to do something else.
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2022-12-29 New hardware device to play with: Corinex HD200 CableLAN Wall Mount Adapter CXC-HD200-WMEe
My enthusiast stories about getting uart access on the previous cable router devices are causing more hardware to come my way to play with.

This time two Corinex HD200 CableLAN Wall Mount Adapter CXC-HD200-WMEe units showed up. They are compact interfaces for ethernet-over-cable according to Corinex standards. The size and the status leds remind me a lot of devolo powerline units which I used years ago to get network in our garden shed.

After voiding the warranty by breaking the sticker and unscrewing the two screws the case doesn't want to open yet. Some force is needed, plastic tabs in the corners kept it closed. I notice there is one very compact board with everything including the power supply. There is a clear demarcation on the board between the power supply area and the rest with slits in the board on parts of this line. Two other screws hold the board to the case and after removing those I can take it out. There are wires from the board to the power plug and a coax cable to the F connector for the coax cable.

There is probably a main system on a chip (SoC) but it's hiding under a heatsink. Most components are surface mount devices (SMD).

On the other side of the board I see a RTL8201EN ethernet chip near the RJ45 network connector. And an EM638165TS-6IG chip which turns out to be 64 Mbit of Synchronous DRAM. And a 25L3206E, 32 Mbit serial flash.

For now I have no idea if this device has a UART somewhere. The only row of 4 small soldering pads didn't give me continuity to any part that I thought would be at the electric ground level so no idea whether that is the UART or not.

Although there are two units they don't want to talk to each other over a coax cable with F connectors. The manuals I can find state clearly that they want to see a Corinex Ethernet over cable master device. The person that gave them to me has experience with these devices and their implementation of the standards and stated to me Corinex ethernet over cable devices only talk to Corinex ethernet over cable masters.

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2022-11-24 Next steps digging into the hardware are more on the software side
From a perspective of security research I only touched the surface of the security research on the Corinex CXWC-HD200-WNeH and the Cab.Link CLS-D4E2WX1 by finding default credentials for telnet.

To get a further insight I need to first enumerate the network attack surface completely. What services are running, what programs run those services.

The ultimate step would be to build an emulation environment where I can run the programs from the routers under my control and find out about the programs and get a first few steps into reverse engineering. With qemu it is possible to emulate MIPS systems on x86 hardware, so I can build a test environment.

It would need some work to get old enough versions of code and kernels to create a compatible environment. The Corinex router mentions compilation in 2012 but with Linux kernel 2.6.21 which was released 25 april 2007. The Cab.Link router mentions compilation in 2013 but uses Linux kernel 2.6.31 which was released 9 september 2009.

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2022-11-22 Opening the Cab.Link CLS-D4E2WX1 and getting full access
Cab.Link CLS-D4E2WX1 router mainboard
Cab.Link CLS-D4E2WX1 router mainboard
Picture by Koos van den Hout, license CC-BY-SA
After getting a good look at the Cab.Link CLS-D4E2WX1 from the outside it was time to void the warranty and open the box. The two screws are hiding under the little rubber feet at the front side and after removing those two screws the case opens with a bit of jiggling.

This device has an external 12 volt 1 ampere power supply.

Chips found on the board:
  • Realtek RTL8306E - 6-port 10/100 mbps ethernet switch controller
  • Winbond W9412G6KH-5 - DRAM 128MBIT memory
  • Qualcomm QCA7411L-AL3C - Homeplug AV / IEEE 1901 the ethernet over cable interface I guess
I also see an extra board (leftside of the picture, blue) where the u.fl cable to the wifi antenna starts. It has a few larger chips but those have a label over them. I guess one of them must be the CPU because I haven't seen a chip with that function yet.

The makers of the Cab.Link CLS-D4E2WX1 were kind enough to include 4 pins labeled J30 (bottom left of the picture) which are a very obvious candidate for being the uart port. Again the process for find GND, TX, RX and Vcc was done and the right pins found. With the board in front and the J30 readable the pins are from left to right TX, RX, GND and 3.3 volt. I name the TX and RX pins from the view of the system, so I see data transmitted on TX and I send data to RX.
Read the rest of Opening the Cab.Link CLS-D4E2WX1 and getting full access

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2022-11-19 Next hardware to poke around in: Cab.Link CLS-D4E2WX1 router
Cab.Link CLS-D4E2WX1 router top
Cab.Link CLS-D4E2WX1 router top
Picture by Koos van den Hout, license CC-BY-SA
The earlier Ethernet over Cable modem/router I poked at didn't come alone, from the same source I also got a Cab.Link CLS-D4E2WX1 cable modem/router.

Doing a search for it finds actual listings for trying to order them wholesale: Buy Wholesale China 7400-eoc Slave Modem, Separate Tv And Ethernet From One Cable, 4 Ethernet Ports Output & 7400-eoc Slave Modem at USD 127 | Global Sources and Eoc Male Slave 4 Ethernet Port With Wifi - Buy Eoc Esclavo Product on

Both listings call it an EOC slave. Given the terminology I expected EOC master devices to exist as well and I soon found out those exist and can be pricey. So I'm not going to spend money on this subject, but I may be interested in recycling an EOC master unit.

The unit has one external wifi antenna, 4 ethernet ports, external power supply 12V and 9 leds. The cable connection is via 2 female F connectors with one labeled 'Cable' and one labeled 'TV'. I do notice the case has a lot of ventilation holes.

On the underside is a label with the manufacturer name, model name, a default equipment management IP, a Wireless Network Name 'wifi' and the EOC and Wifi Mac addresses as numbers and barcodes, and the serial number as number and barcode. The unit has four little rubber feet (full LRF support) and two of those are hiding screws to open the unit.

On switching the Cab.Link router on I indeed see a wifi network appear with the name 'wifi' which on connecting gives me an IPv4 address in the 192.168.1.x range with the default gateway

Cab.Link CLS-D4E2WX1 router underside
Cab.Link CLS-D4E2WX1 router underside
Picture by Koos van den Hout, license CC-BY-SA
The Cab.Link router has a web interface listening on port 80. It directly asks for http authorization but using admin/admin for username and password gets me right in. Up until now I haven't found any reference to PLC or EOC in the webinterface.

The Cab.Link also has a telnet server running on port 23. It greets me with an OpenWRT banner but the first few attempts at finding username/password do not let me in:
$ telnet
Connected to
Escape character is '^]'.
WARNING: telnet is a security risk
OpenWrt login: admin
Login incorrect
OpenWrt login: root
Login incorrect
OpenWrt login: 
I like the 'telnet is a security risk' warning!

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2022-11-18 Current thoughts on hardware hacking
Corinex CXWC-HD200-WNeH uart connected
Corinex CXWC-HD200-WNeH uart connected
Picture by Koos van den Hout, license CC-BY-SA
I closed the case of a vulnerability in the Corinex CXWC-HD200-WNeH with a confirmation from the vendor that this is a device completely out of support. Which confirms the public information I found when I started looking into this device. This was all related to the course in hardware hacking I took and applying the new knowledge.

So now I can look back on this experience and think about my future here. Hardware hacking has serious links to my current job as technical security specialist. In my work I regularly have to look at vulnerabilities and assess the chance and impact of misuse of the vulnerability. With hardware hacking I find vulnerabilities by researching hardware. This helps me understand the chance and impact factor of other vulnerabilities.

There is also a link to my education: part of that was MTS electronics. I learned how to solder, before SMD components were a thing and I think I got some explanation about switching mode power supplies at the end. As I got into computers I didn't do much with this education but the last years in amateur radio have made me get out the soldering iron again.

There is a clear link to my hobby of amateur radio. My interest in amateur radio is linked to wanting to know how things actually work. Hardware hacking is also done with RF signals so I may get into more RF related hardware hacking.

My current thought is that I want to continue in this subject. It's given me joy: getting into a device in new and unexpected ways gives joy! I have learned new things. I noticed I need to feed the brain regularly with new information and actually learning something new is much better brainfood than browsing social media. At the same time social media is the way to learn more about this subject and interact with other people interested in this subject. I ended up on /r/hardwarehacking on reddit and already learned from others and shared some of my own insights!

There is the thing about RFID/NFC security. I have looked into this in the past, mostly by getting the tools to peek into the MiFare classic cards. I am considering going further with this area of hardware hacking. Prices of hacking tools for this area like the proxmark3 or the flipper zero are above the 'nice to try a few things' level. On the other hand I think I could have loads of fun there, and the overlap with amateur radio is very clear.

At the end of this bit of writing: thanks to people who share their hardware hacking experiences on-line! Thanks to Jilles Groenendijk, Router Archeology: Sitecom WL-330 - Habbie's journal, @Flashback Team on youtube, Make Me Hack on youtube, and Boschko Security for sharing their stories and knowledge.

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2022-10-31 I found a vulnerability in the Corinex CXWC-HD200-WNeH and I tried to report it
Somewhere between the digging in the Corinex CXWC-HD200-WNeH I found a vulnerability. A combination of a misconfigured network filter and a default account make it quite easy to get into the device and get full access.

I tried to report this vulnerability before publishing about it. Timeline:
  • 24 September 2022 I mailed a general address at Corinex about this
  • 29 September 2022 I mailed someone who wrote about Corinex devices in the Netherlands
  • 28 October 2022 I tried to contact @CorinexCorp on twitter via a mention
All this got exactly zero response.

Update 2022-11-17: @CorinexCorp responded on twitter: Hi Koos. Apologies for a lack of response. Corinex no longer supports CXWC-HD200-WNeH devices. The company exited the consumer market many years ago.

Because this device is out-of-support for years now and should not be in use anywhere anymore, I think I've invested enough effort in trying to report this vulnerability to the right people and I can now publish this and close this chapter.

On to the actual vulnerability. Like a lot of other vulnerabilities this is a case of multiple things coming together.
Read the rest of I found a vulnerability in the Corinex CXWC-HD200-WNeH and I tried to report it

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2022-10-29 Trying to figure out the Ethernet over Cable in the Corinex CXWC-HD200-WNeH
Another attempt at trying to understand the Ethernet over Cable stuff in the Corinex CXWC-HD200-WNeH that I have been working on. I found this on the device:
# /app/plcStatus 
Socket creation success.
Socket binding to vlan1 success.
Send success (22).
Send success (22).

Node type: 01
Ip address:
Parent mac: 00:00:00:00:00:00
Up speed: 00
Down speed: 00
Child count: 00
The use of 'plc' (PowerLine Communications) and the way this works suggests to me this is indeed an ethernet-over-coax device (so no docsis). But I can't figure out where the ethernet-coax bridge is. I thought plcStatus would use some ethernet protocol to communicate with the bridge (just as the devolo dlan tools do) but I can't find any trace of the traffic on the wifi interface.

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IPv6 check

Running test...
, reachable as PGP encrypted e-mail preferred. PGP key 5BA9 368B E6F3 34E4 local copy PGP key 5BA9 368B E6F3 34E4 via keyservers

Meningen zijn die van mezelf, wat ik schrijf is beschermd door auteursrecht. Sommige publicaties bevatten een expliciete vermelding dat ze ongevraagd gedeeld mogen worden.
My opinions are my own, what I write is protected by copyrights. Some publications contain an explicit license statement which allows sharing without asking permission.
Other webprojects: Camp Wireless, wireless Internet access at campsites
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